Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Naga face rivals Army in tough title hurdle



Naga face rivals Army in tough title hurdle

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
NagaWorld’s George Bisan.

Naga face rivals Army in tough title hurdle

A week after Ministry of National Defense shattered NagaWorld’s bid for the domestic double by beating them 3-1 in extra time in their Hun Sen Cup semifinal, the two arch rivals clash again on Saturday to pursue their Metfone C-League hopes, with a 3pm kick-off at Old Stadium.

The stakes are a lot higher for Naga this time as they top the table, two points ahead of closest rival Boeung Ket, with Visakha a further three points adrift in third. Army are a faraway fourth, 11 points adrift of Naga’s 47 with two more gameweeks to go.

The casino-backed side could not have bargained for a better setting than this to overturn their Cup disappointment and go after their third league triumph for which they have been waiting nearly a decade.

Coach Meas Channa will be keen to get the best from his overseas contingent, including prolific striker Geoerge Bisan, to muzzle Army, who will also be leaning on their imports to make this contest as tough as the clashes between these two usually are.

There are two vital factors that make this a must-win game for Naga. Three points would be precious enough to get them closer to the title and will allow them to face the remaining two matches with confidence.

Any other result will massively increase the pressure as both Boeung Ket and Vishaka are close enough to capitalise on any Naga slip-up and force the finish right down to the wire.

Since the title is almost out of Army’s reach at this point, they have nothing to lose, and free from any sort of desperation they could shift the pressure squarely on their opponents. So the burden will be on Naga to prove their desire.

Taking the pitch after this important showdown, Visakha will be eager to see off National Police in an evening encounter. A victory would keep them in the hunt.

A stumble or two by either Naga or Boeung Ket could present them an opening to close out a dream debut top-flight season in title-winning style.

Meanwhile, Preah Khan Reach Svey Rieng will welcome Siem Reap-based Soltilo Angkor to the Svay Rieng Stadium. The outcome will have no impact on the top half of the standings.

Defending champions Boeung Ket must deem themselves somewhat fortunate to play their game against lowly Electricite du Cambodge on Sunday in full knowledge of how well their two other main title threats fare the previous day.

It is hard to see Boeung Ket coming under any real pressure, though it must be borne in mind that the Electricitymen held the champs to a goalless draw a couple of months ago.

While Asia Europe United host Phnom Penh Crown at their facility, whipping boys Western Phnom Penh face Angkor Tigers, who did well to make the semifinals of the Hun Sen Cup, in their best ever showing in a domestic competition.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (